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Does Culture Affect Unemployment? Evidence from the Röstigraben

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  • Brügger, Beatrix

    (University of Lausanne)

  • Lalive, Rafael

    (University of Lausanne)

  • Zweimüller, Josef

    (University of Zurich)

Abstract

This paper studies the role of culture in shaping unemployment outcomes. The empirical analysis is based on local comparisons across a language barrier in Switzerland. This Röstigraben separates cultural groups, but neither labor markets nor political jurisdictions. Local contrasts across the language border identify the role of culture for unemployment. Our findings indicate that differences in culture explain differences in unemployment duration on the order of 20%. Moreover, we find that horizontal transmission of culture is more important than vertical transmission of culture and that culture is about as important as strong changes to the benefit duration.

Suggested Citation

  • Brügger, Beatrix & Lalive, Rafael & Zweimüller, Josef, 2009. "Does Culture Affect Unemployment? Evidence from the Röstigraben," IZA Discussion Papers 4283, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp4283
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    culture; cultural transmission; unemployment duration; regional unemployment;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • J21 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Labor Force and Employment, Size, and Structure
    • J64 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Unemployment: Models, Duration, Incidence, and Job Search
    • Z10 - Other Special Topics - - Cultural Economics - - - General

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